I’ve been drinking coffee since I was too young to drink it (thank you grandma). I treasure my morning cup. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than the smell of freshly made coffee in the morning and the anticipation of that first sip. Oh, did I mention that my husband gets up every morning before I do and makes us coffee? The hissing of the espresso steam wand and sound of milk frothing means the coffee is almost ready and we have a few minutes for a quiet chat before we wake the children. He may say “Your coffee’s ready” but what I really hear is “I love you.” It’s a ritual of ours I adore and I wouldn’t change it for anything else. It’s only on days when my husband is away I make myself this Lebanese coffee. It’s black, strong and takes some time getting used to it. It’s traditionally served in small cups, similar to an espresso size but it’s not meant to be consumed quickly. Do not hurry. Sip this coffee slowly to fully enjoy the cardamom flavour. There’s also something very soothing in the ritual of slowly brewing coffee on a cold autumn morning. I don’t have a Lebanese coffee pot (rakweh) so I use a small pot instead. Below are the quantities for 4 espresso cups but you can adjust yours accordingly.
- 3 heaped teaspoons of coffee, ideally freshly roasted
- 5 cardamom pods
- approximately 360ml water
- Optional: sugar or honey
Pour cold water in the pan and add coffee. Bring it slowly to a boil but don’t let it boil over. Once boiled, remove from the heat and stir. Repeat this at least 4 times until the coffee no longer froths. The goal is to get maximum coffee flavour without over-boiling. Add lightly crushed cardamom pods into the pot and let it steep over low heat for 5 minutes. Use a small strainer when pouring into cups. Optionally, sweeten with sugar or honey.
Adapted from The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage.